The most flexible loyalty programs. 
Easy to use and customized solutions for your business.

The Loyalty Blog:
Customer Retention Stats | Reward Program Info | Customer Insight


While the 2020 pandemic certainly had presented a number of issues and inconveniences for both businesses and consumers, it is worth taking a look at new processes that your loyal customers may find beneficial moving forward.

The curbside pickup

Pre-ordering an item to pick up at the storefront is actually pretty convenient if you ask many. Seniors and parents with kids in tow are just a few that have been able to take advantage of this convenience. Shopping online for groceries has allowed customers to plan ahead and budget while comparing prices within minutes – saving time and money. During COVID, curbside pickup is helpful for those looking to keep away from busy shopping malls and looking forward to post COVID, many customers may be looking to keep the curbside convenience.  

Gathering customer feedback from a survey allows you to understand what your customers love and don’t love about your business. Having an open mind while listening to customer complaints will certainly prove beneficial when identifying products or services that could be improved. There’s no doubt that listening to your customers provides invaluable insight but - are they always right?

An Infographic by valpak demonstrates examples of entrepreneurs who succeeded despite initial feedback and provides scenarios of when it pays to listen to your customers and also when it may hold you back trying to please everyone.

“Your customers can tell you the things that are broken and how they want to be made happy but don’t rely on them to create the future road map for your product or service”
- Mark Cuban

If your business has an app, it’s no doubt a great way to interact with your customers, push notifications, and provide a user-friendly environment to engage with your brand. The key to a successful app is frequent customer usage. 
A recent article featured on adweek notes that 40% of consumers prefer to order food online and when they place an order, they spend 26% more than they would have in-store. A study revealed that only 33% of restaurant apps offered coupons that encouraged customers to repeatedly visit. “The biggest thing is making sure that there’s a consumer need and then getting people to use the technology,” said Kurt Kane at Wendy’s. Wendy’s is now experimenting with adding offers and a customer loyalty program to its app. 

Whether you’re just about ready to launch your new loyalty program or thinking of ways to recharge your existing program, here are a few easy ways to promote your customer rewards program perks to your VIPs. 

1. Website promotion

Make sure you provide all the details about your program within your website. Include a page dedicated to your customer loyalty program with information about your program such as how to join, how to earn points, and list some of the great rewards your customers can earn. You’ll need to include a section that clearly outlines your program rules and have your legal team review it to ensure nothing is missing for your specific business in your area. Include an easy way for customers to sign up for your program online (bonus points at time of signup are always welcome) and include a link for customers to check their current balance and review the rewards they’re eligible for. Be transparent Be up-front about your program rules and try not to make it too hard for customers to participate. Let them know if there are any product exclusions or if their points will expire after X amount of time. You don’t want your customers to be caught off-guard as this is sure to cause confusion and diminished trust in your brand. Define a clear path for actions and rewards and don’t make it too difficult to achieve (example: buy 1000 coffees, get one free – this would take forever for your customers to earn and they will certainly lose interest in the program).

In addition to reduced turnover and increased company costs, employee retention is also a key factor in your customer service experience. Improvement in employee attitudes directly relates to increase in customer satisfaction and revenue growth. A recent infographic by GetVoip explores valuable employee recognition tips to better understand what employees want and how to keep them happy.  

85% of companies that spent 1% more on employee recognition saw a positive impact on engagement.

The report indicates that 49% of employees are dissatisfied with the recognition they receive. It may be beneficial to send out a survey to all employees (which they can complete anonymously) to learn what motivates them. Monetary bonuses were most valued by 49% of staff surveyed while extra vacation or paid time off ranked second at 19%. Depending on factors such as the age of your employees, their motivators may differ so it’s important to learn more about your team before implementing a recognition program. Happy employees are more engaged with your business and will strive to provide an excellent customer service experience which is key to customer loyalty and satisfaction. 

Retail merchants big and small (online and brick-and-mortar) should start planning strategic promotions in the fall (or sooner!) to take advantage of the increased traffic and convert new faces into long-term loyal customers. A versatile rewards program can help you get the most our of your holiday shopping visitors this season. You can setup the below promotions within your Loyalty Gator program within minutes, however you'll want to start planning your overall holiday strategy in advance to allow time for marketing materials, incentive ideas, and staffing! 

Bonus Points
Consider offering bonus points on purchases of $X or more. Your existing loyalty members will love filling up their carts with gifts while cashing in on the extra points for themselves! Additionally, new customers who are shopping for friends/family will enjoy rewarding themselves for a long day of shopping by joining your program and earning something special.

Customer loyalty cannot be truly achieved without exceptional customer service. With so many options presented to your customers every day, it’s not enough to offer them sub-par service. If they can’t easily find products on your shelves (or on your website) or receive assistance from your staff, they’ll likely move on to the competition where they receive a better overall shopping experience. While loyalty programs are a great tool to communicate with your customers, provide promotions to increase spending/visits, track customer behavior, and a lot more, loyalty programs alone cannot prevent (or fix) really poor customer experiences. 

78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience

-Source: American Express Survey, 2011 

 This could result in an alarming amount of lost business! Is your website easy to navigate so customers can quickly find product details, book an appointment, or check out? If not, you could be causing frustration and losing customers to competitor websites. It’s important to make the sales process simple and convenient both online and in-store.

While you may not require a full-featured loyalty program with all the bells and whistles to run a successful business, you do most certainly need a plan for customer retention. If you have a process to store customer preferences, track customer spending/activity, and communicate personalized and relevant messages then you’re on the right track! If your company is not yet set up to do these things, or if you’re looking for additional activity/promotion tracking, and customer engagement, you may want to consider looking into a loyalty program software for your business. 

The right loyalty program software will allow you to:

- Track customer activity and identify your top spenders
- Identify customer preferences / custom data that is relevant to your businesses
- Review your most successful promotions (what appeals to your target)
- Have the ability to incentivize customers for spending/visiting more
- Allow additional incentives for specific actions (such as referrals) or events
- Provide an easy way for your customers to sign up for your program, and check their balance 



1. Businesses Don't Promote It. 

One of the most important things merchants don’t do (or don’t do well) is promote their new loyalty program to their customers. You have a great new program, you’ve worked hard to make sure that the rewards would be enticing and exciting for your customers, however they’ll never know about it if you don’t tell them! 

If you don’t have time to develop the point of purchase marketing materials, designate a “program champion” to oversee the loyalty program management. Order some basic promotional materials from your local print shop (or VistaPrint is a great tool) and order a small quantity of signs, banners, window stickers or whatever works in your space. Loyalty Gator offers free table tent cards customized with your own logo that you can place on counter tops (or tables) to create customer awareness in-store. Don’t forget to promote your program on your website and if possible, create a new page dedicated to your customer rewards program. Outline how the program works and highlight the great perks available. Loyalty Gator provides links you can place on your website so customers can easily sign up for your program and check their point balance. Explain the benefits of joining your loyalty program. Will customers receive a free pita after the purchase of 10? Will they get to stand in the VIP express line next time? Could they win a chance to design their own pita to be placed on the menu next month? Ensure your staff is educated about the program and able to promote the benefits to customers in-store.